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Beginning January 1st, 2012, every airline traveling through Europe will be assessed a carbon emission fee. After the new policy is enforced, the total cost for all Chinese airline companies is expected to be more than 700 million yuan in 2012 alone.
740 million yuan. That's the amount of money expected to be added to the costs of flights from China to Europe. And the burden of these new fees is expected to fall on the consumers. It is likely that each economy flight passenger from China to Europe will pay 300 yuan more.
The European Commission's carbon tax plan will only exempt airplanes that have an annual carbon emission of less than 10 thousand tons. However, a Boeing 777 from Shanghai to London emits over 200 tons of carbon dioxide. If the airliner has 3 flights to Europe each week, the exemption quota will be used up within 15 weeks.
Zhu Qingyu, China Airline Transport Assoc., said, "It's not a fair policy. It is a policy to gain profit. We hope China can find ways to protect the legal interests of our airline companies."
And according to the current schedule of Chinese flights, the extra pay will reach 3 billion yuan by 2020.
Experts say Europe is using the policy to avoid the responsibility of reducing carbon emissions.
Zhu Jiaxian, Central University of Finance and Economics, said, "According to the Kyoto Protocol, China has different responsibilities compared to developed countries in achieving a reduction in carbon emissions, because our industrial development is comparatively late.
Besides China, airline companies in the US, Japan and Singapore all oppose the fee and plan to sue the European Commission.